All photos and text by Jack Rothman
All rights reserved. No photo may be copied or duplicated without written permission.

Updated 10/18/16
Copyright 2016

Located in the Bronx, New York, City Island is a small island, approximately one mile long and a quarter mile wide. City Island is surrounded by Eastchester Bay on one side and Long Island Sound on the other. Its bridge attaches to a roadway adjacent to Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. In this area, and in the waters and wetlands, in and around City Island, many bird species thrive. Here, several and varied migratory birds are found. This website was created to help study, appreciate, and protect all the birds of this area.

City Island Birds
Since 2007

Welcome to City Island Birds. I created this website because this area of New York City is little known and underutilized by birdwatchers and other nature lovers. Pelham Bay Park, with its woods and wetlands is a critical stopover and nesting area to many migratory species.


Barnacle Goose at Orchard Beach

Jack Rothman


Traveling and Birding the Amazon

Several people have requested information about our trip to the Amazon.

Birding Interest- Past Articles

Important and Useful

The Wild Bird Fund   (Animal Rehabber)

New York Tide Chart

Urban Park Rangers

NY State Parks

Birdcast (Migration Reports)


Beginner’s Guide

Savannah Sparrows are around. These good looking sparrows always come around this time of the year. Look around the back side of Turtle Cove and along the edges at Orchard Beach.

I was surprised to find this female Bobolink near the bridge at Turtle Cove a few years back. It may be a little late to find one but it’s always possible. A good place to look is in the southern zone in the tall grass near the landfill.

If you walk on the boardwalk stop at the Conifers near the “Environmental Center”  you might find a great looking Red-breasted Nuthatch. This photo was taken a few years ago at the (Bronx) New York Botanical Garden.

Binocular and Smartphone Help

If you’re not familiar with how your computer or smartphone can help you be a better and more successful birder, you should read my little primer, link here.

If you need or want a new pair of binoculars, you might want to begin here. Binoculars have really changed in the last few years. You can get a fantastic pair for a few hundred dollars and a really good pair for less than $200. Years ago, there wasn’t nearly as much choice. You should link here for ratings.

Birding Advocacy

“The difference between a beginning birder and an experienced one is that beginning birders have misidentified few birds. Experienced birders have misidentified thousands.”

Pete Dunne

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There were four Bald Eagles up on the NY Central tower at the Bartow Circle. They were standing on the Osprey nest. Just as I arrived they flew off, so I photographed them in flight.

Yes, there are Bald Eagles in the Bronx!

I came across this photo of Granny and the birding guide from “The Beverly Hillbillies,” a very popular TV sitcom. If you are old enough to remember, Ms. Hathaway, who was Mr. Drysdale’s secretary, was also a birdwatcher. The show ran from 1962-1970 and birdwatchers were depicted as nerdy and socially inept. They dressed funny and were usually depicted to look physically uncool.

That’s Ms. Hathaway and Jed. Jed was one of the “Beverly Hillbillies” who became very rich. Ms. Hathaway was always trying to get Jed romantically involved, often by inviting him to go birdwatching. In this episode he finally goes along. I guess it was funny but the stereotype of bird watchers has not completely gone away.

Second Fall Migration Walk

Sunday, October 16 8:30 AM

Link for story and results

“Birding at Bartow”

November 19 at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum.

Registration is required, as we are limiting participation to the first 25 people. (There were 65 people last year, too many!)

The walk is still free, so please register ASAP!

              To register, call 718.885.1461 or email

                                         Link for more information